|Manali Patel, MD, MPH
I am so grateful for having participated in the first ASH Advocacy Leadership Institute. The ALI educational and training activities helped me to appreciate and actively engage in advocacy for our patients and our research especially in our current political climate. With drug shortages, cuts to research funding, and the imminent changes in reimbursement, ASH's ALI was what helped me to understand that our voices need to be heard. It is truly because of the ALI that I have the skills and confidence to express my voice. Through the institute I learned that advocating for our patients is what truly drives changes on a population level and is the vehicle to improve value-based care for our patients and continue our research endeavors to improve health.
The ALI training and education invigorated me to pursue my passion for advocacy in a field of medicine that so desperately needs it! Since October, I have been back to Washington, DC twice, sent letters to my congressmen, and met with my community leaders to advocate for regulation of drug shortages, NIH funding, and stem-cell research. Because of the ALI, I have also become more active in ASH and am now a participant on some of ASH's standing subcommittees.
Perhaps the most surprising and welcoming aspect of the ALI was not only the milestone I reached to direct my future endeavors but also the life-long friendships I made as well as the collaborations with like-minded individuals on research and other advocacy projects. The ALI was truly one of the most influential experiences in my early career and I am grateful for ASH's dedication to this area. I give my thanks to ASH's commitment and dedication to helping practitioners understand and actively participate in advocacy. This is a skill that our traditional medical education does not teach and therefore, I thank you ASH and the ALI, for helping me to better understand and appreciate advocacy on an individual, community, and societal level.
back to top